I know this post is belated, but I must to take the time to say something about the amazing event I attended in Gowanus last weekend, the Brooklyn Beefsteak.
The mood at the event was nothing less than euphoric: a room full of hungry carnivores, subdued by the ever-flowing pints of McSorely’s, and finally satiated by course after course of beef. And oh, the beef! We started with tiny hamburgers, then slices of tenderloin, then there was pot roast, and some sort of BBQ Beef. Too many beefs for me to count or remember, and each one masterfully prepared.
My favorite course was the strips of tenderloin, grilled over charcoal and drizzled with butter. It’s the most traditional preparation of beef at a beefsteak, and arguable the best.
And now I know a thing or two about the history of the beefsteak, thanks to the two lectures at the event: one on the tradition of the beefsteak in New York (a manly 19th century gathering) and one on the survival of the beefsteak in the VFW halls of northern New Jersey. Both talks were entertaining; however, I don’t envy the speakers for trying to give a history lesson to a room full of drunks. We were an enthusiastic crowd, to say the least.
You can see a bajillion photos from the event here. And if you would like to learn more about the tradition of the beefsteak, I encourage you to read the classic New Yorker article All You Can Hold for Five Bucks. It was published in 1939 and survives as the source of most of our contemporary beefsteak knowledge. Don’t be dismayed by the first two paragraphs, were he talks about how terrible women are. It gets better after that.